Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year Wishes

With Best Wishes for Health, Happiness and Abundance in 2008!

Thank you to everyone who wrote with wishes for the Holiday Season - I do love to hear from you all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Joyeux Noel

I made this little cross-stitch ornament for my friend. I got the original Eiffel Tower pattern from Romy's blog - thank you, Romy! I don't have the permalink to the pattern, Romy has so many free patterns and I'm not sure which month the pattern came from. I stitched the original pattern as shown in the picture below, then I tweaked it to do the Joyeux Noel one above.

When I was finishing up the ornament and adding a ribbon hanger, I used this tip I picked up somewhere: if the ribbon needs pressing, light an electric light and use the heated bulb as an iron; just hold the ribbon at each end and rub it along the bulb - so quick and handy!

Monday, December 10, 2007

... Merry Christmas - sort of ...

After taking at least 20 pictures of our cat near or under the tree, it turns out that this is the one I like the best - not sure if it's funny or pathetic ... for now, it's all I've got. Will try again tomorrow.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Remember my friend Barbara of Ephemera that I wrote about here and here? Well, last week she sent me these pictures of her van with the email heading of HOLY!! Just look at the haul of textiles that she picked up last week! Before she offers the quilts, chenilles and bark cloth pieces out for sale she washes and repairs each one - that is a LOT of heavy work; those babies get heavy when they're wet. Plus some need ironing and they all need folding. I sure hope she never challenges me to an arm-wrestling match.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A walk in the park

I love going for walks at this time of year when the leaves are golden and they snap and crackle when you walk through them.
"The woods are full of Fairies;
The Sea is full of fish;
The trees are full of golden leaves;
Let's make an Autumn wish."
~ Anon

Milk Bottle Nostalgia

Our local health food store has started to carry milk and cream in glass bottles. We drink too much milk to be able to always buy our milk this way but it sure feels old-fashioned and homey to use these glass bottles. The cream is delicious with no preservatives of any kind. Sometimes I pour milk from our cardboard container into this milk bottle just so I can get to pour milk from it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A visit with family & how to 'Follow your Bliss'

Yesterday was family day. My daughter and I picked up my brother across town and headed to my sister's. She lives about an hour's drive from Toronto. Upon our arrival, we got to visit with a couple of my neices and their husbands and young children. We had so much fun with the young ones. The two year old was most exuberant about everything. He is just learning to talk but there was never a question about what he wanted or didn't want; what made him happy or what displeased him.

When my sister made it known that she would start setting supper on the table, he became most excited and repeatedly shouted 'SUPPER!' to everybody in the room. He tried everything on the dinner table and didn't hesitate to grab seconds of things that he liked or to spit out anything that he didn't find agreeable. Upon hearing that there would be a couple of choices for dessert and that one of them was cake, he joyfully made sure everyone in the room got the message. Delighted cries of "CAKE! CAKE! CAKE!" were heard by all. There was no doubt that this news filled him with joy from the tips of his toes to the top of his head.

He was such a delight to behold and a perfect example of someone who is still unabashedly 'following his bliss'. Although I bet if you ask his mother, she would say that he was a handful and that he totally wore her out. And that's understandable; I loved his company for 3 hours but it takes a lot of stamina to be around a whirling ball of energy like this 24/7.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Guy Things - Vintage Radios and Dinky Toys

Yes, the one on the top left is a faux vintage clock. It's one of those modern ones with the built-in tape players. We had a couple of the dark brown bakelite radios but they didn't show as well in the cupboard so they're gone.

These are all army dinkies, most of which my husband had as a child. He bought a few more recently to fill in the gaps in his collection of these army ones.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm not the only collector in our house

Just in case you thought I was the only one with the 'collecting gene' in our household, let me enlighten you. We all love 'stuff'. Sometimes we love the same stuff and sometimes we don't, but we each seem to have the knack for accumulating, amassing, hoarding and finding things that make our hearts sing but which also fill up every possible nook in our home. Today, I'm showing you one of my husband's collections. For today, here are the robots - they do look cute, don't they, all lined up as though on guard, maybe on guard in case real space creatures show up. Stay tuned for some more vintage 'guy' stuff - vintage radios and army Dinky toys.
This group reminds me of our family unit - two adults and two children.
This guy is sitting down on the job.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Karla's Party and a Free Digital Scrapblog Site

At the last minute, I joined Karla's What-Do-You-Love party. To join in, we had to post some pictures on our blog and tell what we love about our home. I had already posted about our fabulous new floor and Karla has kindly added my link on her party posting. Thank you to all who visit my blog from her link!
Just this morning, I discovered a free Digital Scrapping site that lets you make quick and easy pages to share in various ways. I made a two page scrapbook in no time and with two clicks, I was able to insert the pages into my blog - what a no-hassle way to do scrapbooking!
My pages are here. Please share with me if you make some pages too!

Jax and Finn

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Voila! Our new floor!

The photos of our new floor are just a little blurry. I was trying not to use the flash on the camera and it wasn't quite bright enough. We are enjoying the new floor, it feels good and we're happy with the way it looks. The staircase originally had carpet down the centre which we stripped off. My husband gave it a fresh coat of white paint and for the final touch, we decided to add a gold-toned paint on the steps. The whole project took over two weeks with all the finishing work and jobs that evolved as things unfolded like repainting the walls. "Since the big cupboards are moved out from the walls, I may as well paint behind them", said my husband. This meant another trip to our local paint store for paint and rollers. And of course, the other walls got painted too. Glad it's all done and we can just sit and enjoy it all.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Three days ago, we had no intention of ripping out our faithful but worn berber carpet. Then my husband went to the hardware store and saw a sale on plank flooring. It was such a good price, we decided to buy it and keep it in the garage for a few months until we had the time and the inclination to do it. We picked up the flooring and went home to survey how we would proceed with the work we would have to do to install said flooring and the next thing you know, we were ripping and tearing and moving all the furniture and smalls out of the room. Which leads me to my sad news about the gold-coloured pitcher you see in the photo. I took the picture because I love to see other people's posts about their creations and home renovations in progress and thought I would do a similar post.
But our kitty cat, Baby Finn, wanted to see what was new on the shelf and jumped up to get a look. A second later, the ringed jug was in a number of pieces on the floor. I thought of chronicling that with a photo but then I'd feel bad whenever I looked at it. I prefer to remember it in its perfection, as in the photo.
The items in the following photo remained intact because I moved them out of Baby Finn's perching spot.

Can't wait to see the new flooring which should be done on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Sunsets, Red Wine, New Shoes

I spent a very relaxing time at the cottage with my friends. I got to eat, drink wine, gab, go for strolls along the beach, sit on the deck, gab, shop, laugh, read, sit on the deck, nap, enjoy a glass of red, gab, and watch the sunset every night. One morning, I caught the sunrise; just beautiful.

Each evening we'd drop everything and hurry down to catch the sunsets; each was more spectacular that the day before.
And I found myself some Mary Jane Crocs. They are so comfy that I wear them all day long. They're great for walks, biking, gardening and grocery shopping.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

At the cottage next week ...

Oh boy, I'm in such a rush to get on the road to the cottage and look, I left the letter 'k' off the word 'week' in my picture and I don't have time to fix it now. Anyway, I'm off and will be enjoying some sun and sand in cottage country. On Tuesday, I plan to set up my vintage wares at the local Farmer's Market. Will take some pics and return next week. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Paris-Inspired Bicycle

Last year, I visited Paris for the first time and fell in love with the city and everything about it. Everywhere we went, there were men and women riding bicycles. When I came home, I thought that one of the ways for me to bring some of the Paris ambience home, would be by riding a bicycle that had that vintage Paris feel. I asked my husband to keep an eye out at Yard Sales for an old-fashioned bicycle in black paint. Within a few days, he found exactly what I wanted!
I love this bicycle and even gave her a name - Isabelle. Isn't she pretty?

Here's another picture that my friend took of a cyclist in Paris. Look at those heels!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Family Week

Here's Rory, our son who is visiting from Vancouver this week. The house sure is different with his friends coming and going at all hours. We only have a few more days to enjoy his company. I'll post again next week after he leaves. Enjoy your week!

Whew, I'm just learning how to work with digital scrapbooking - sure wish I knew what I was doing - please bear with me on this learning curve - the pics are less than perfect.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Primitive Heart stole my heart

Yesterday, I spend a perfect day out with friends, antiquing and shopping. The highlight of our trip - besides our pub lunch :-) - was our visit to my favourite prim decorating store, in St George, Ontario. The owner describes the store as 'filled to the rafters with old 'n worn primitive good for your home and garden' and indeed it is full. And yesterday, the yard surrounding the store was stocked as well. What a feast for the eyes.

This garden angel was on duty at the door to the shop. Unfortunately for me, she had already been sold when we arrived and was waiting to be transported to her new home. I could have spent another hour just looking and sighing at the sights but we had to move on to fit in the other stores we wanted to see. I did find time to purchase a painted dough bowl which I plan to post in the future.

Friday, June 8, 2007

My Apron 'Fence'

This is the view from the deck at the back of our house. One side is bordered by a fence which runs all the way to the back of our property. The other side partly bordered by our garage but the first few feet in front of the garage is paved driveway. The garage is a double that we share with our neighbour and right now his garage door isn't working so he has the door propped open.

A less than inspiring view for sure - pavement and a gaping open garage door. I tried to talk dh into building a wood fence but my request fell on deaf ears :-) So, instead, I decided to string a rope across from the house to our garage and make a 'fence' of fabric, or at least, the illusion of a fence, a place for the eye to focus rather than the bleak reality.

And it works; I like seeing the aprons fluttering in the breeze. Not everybody 'gets it' of course; a friend wondered why we had so many aprons on our line and if I changed my apron every day *smile*.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Buttons and other Smalls

A button asks little more than to be held, admired and worn close to the heart ... I've always loved this quote that I read in Victoria Magazine a number of years ago.
And I've always loved buttons. As a young girl, I used to get out my mother's button box and put the two prongs of old fashioned bobby pins through the two holes of a button and Voila! instant tutus and lovely skirts on little 'dolls' - (okay, we were kinda poor and I didn't have a lot of toys - lol)
These are some of my pearlies that I move around in jars from room to room in my home. I have piles more and will get them photographed too. In the meantime, here are some other smalls that hang around my home. More favourite things - blue willow pottery and chintz dishes. I have lots more pictures to take and load up. I'm on a roll.

Our Very Curious Cat ...

Here is our very active and curious cat at about 8 months. He is the most entertaining and nosey cat I've ever had the privilege of knowing. No sound, movement, person or thing escapes his scrutiny. The sound of a door or cupboard drawer opening brings him running - he wants to see what's inside. A dripping tap, a rewinding cassette tape, a toaster popping - he's as close as he can get and wants to see what makes the noise. He loves to be where the action is.

A visitor gets an inspection from head to toe - each button on a coat or sleeve gets looked at and sniffed, and even facial features, if the visitor will allow it. Some, who are not cat people, are not happy being so closely perused but it's hard to tell a cat he's being rude. To make it worse, he wants to be petted, admired and chooses to sit or lie as close as possible to the visitor. Definitely not a cat shy cat.

Aside from that, is he not a pretty cat? We love his soft tawny mushroom colour. Okay, enough cat talk; I'll stop here but please indulge me by looking at one more picture.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Old Cookbooks and Kitchen Bowls

After Allison of BrocanteHome posted some photos of Holly Farrell's paintings, I've been wanting to see if I could capture a bit of the beauty and simplicity of everyday objects the way Holly does through her paintings. This morning I had some fun pulling out a few of my old cookbooks, photographing them, then playing around with my photo editor in an attempt to capture something of the feeling of Holly's work. In the end, I've decided it really doesn't matter if I did or not because I like the photos as they are. I just love the vintage wallpaper cover on the top cookbook.

Look at the neat oilcloth cover on this one - it's an early edition of the Fanny Merritt Farmer cookbook.

I like the vintage wallpaper cover on the top cookbook.

One of the things I like doing is making sepia tones in my photo editor.

I think this is my favourite composition, so far. That was a fun exercise. Next, I've got buttons and sewing things on my to-do list.

Evening in Paris

This morning I got around to shooting some photographs of some of my favourite things. My Evening in Paris talc tin that came to us from my in-laws home is perfectly at home in our bathroom cabinet. I thought it deserved a post of its own. My next post will feature old cookbooks. Hopefully, I'll get those up this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Prepare to Swoon if you Love Paris

I nearly swooned when I saw the new issue of Romantic Homes which features Paris Style! Luckily I was in the grocery store and I was able to steady myself by leaning on my grocery cart.
Many lovely photos of food, shopping, apartment decorating. flea market finds throughout the issue.
The book shown here Joie de Vivre by Robert Arbor is one of my favourite ones featuring a good glimpse of day to day family life in France with some great recipes and cooking tips. I've been following the method he uses to make himself and his children an afternoon cup of hot cocoa - what a treat!
Paris Flea Marketing - yes, count me in!
Oops, why is this picture tilted - hmm, I need to figure that out in my photo program. - Sandra Evertson shares her ideas for making an original print - just beautiful.

This is truly a wonderful issue of Romantic Homes. I hope my copy survives being droooled on several times a day.


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